Letter to the editor: UK KFTC event at MLK Center

In the age of a biracial president, it is trendy in certain circles to speak of the beginning of a post-racial America.

So, how has far racial equality actually come in Lexington?

To answer this question and more, UK Kentuckians for the Commonwealth will be hosting an educational event called the “The Role of Race in Lexington” on Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Center, which is located at 133 Student Center.

Drinks and refreshments will be provided!

This month the MLK Center is hosting a series of Black History events.

It is common for certain people to ask rhetorically: Why do we need a month dedicated to black history? While the question seems silly, it also deserves a response.

For centuries we lacked simple information about the lives of black men and women in the United States. We promised as a society to “never forget” the Nazi Holocaust, so how can we ignore centuries of enslavement and oppression in our own country? We believe that history includes not just the events of long ago — it’s something we are still a part of.

Even if they’ve heard of Malcolm X or Sojourner Truth, many UK students do not know that almost one out of every five African-Americans in Kentucky cannot vote because of felony disenfranchisement, according to research by the sentencingproject.org.

Many students do not know that Cheapside off Main Street refers to a slave auction block. Many students still do not know about the inaccessibility of grocery stores in low-income communities of color, which are called “food deserts.”

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth is dedicated to racial justice through civic action by everyday people, including students. The election (and reelection) of President Obama was a historic moment, but how close are we to our ideals?

Join us as we learn together about the role of race in the beautiful city of Lexington. On Feb. 26 at 6 p.m.  at the MLK Center, we will hear what UK students and community members think about a “post-racial” America.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call (859) 257-4130. Will we see you there?

Written by Jared Flanery and Rohith (R.J.) Jayaram. Email opinions@kykernel.com.

Jared Flanery says:

Note that if anything over 1 in 5 African-Americans in Kentucky cannot vote, not “almost” 1 in 5.
The sentencing project estimated 22% in 2010. Thanks